It's been a while. Between spurts of outlining and drafting my next book, I've been spending so much of my free time in the garden, lately. In the pics (clockwise): a new pink Hydrangea to compliment the blues. And I've already forgotten the name of the top right... gladiola? Then, a young Japanese Maple. And an old remnant of fallen wood from many years ago. I used to sit on this warped log as a young girl and set out piles of flowers and treats for the fairies. Yes...it started young. So, I'm just delighted to have freed it again. Perhaps, my son will enjoy sitting on it now, dreaming his own dreams. You know, I often get funny looks when I blither on about the garden... (is there NOTHING you'd rather be doing?) Well, there are actually oodles of folks who love gardening, for different reasons, but I'll tell you why it's so good for me, because I like to share.
Here's what I know: I am someone who loves beauty. That's what it is; when we boil it down. As much as I can feel into the world and the trauma and pain that exists, I also see and experience beauty in the world, and now I am enhancing that. I am creating a beautiful life. I like beautiful food. Beautiful music. Beautiful scents. Beautiful souls. Beautiful eyes. Beautiful smiles. Beautiful landscapes. Beautiful moments. Beautiful joy and passion for life.
"Planting a garden is to believe in tomorrow..." - Audrey Hepburn
And I suppose, much like writing, or any art...I'd like to harness the beautiful ideas from my head, my dreams, my heart...and create them, physically. It's simple. And it brings me peace. Sanctuary. When we are spiritual seekers, dreamers, believers, doers, creators...we can often get lost in the ether. In the awe and magnificence of things. The magic and wonder. The connection. Or, it can be the reverse. We can get lost in the dark, as well, and in the momentum, the wants, the greed, the desires. Getting grounded is vital. Working with the earth, respecting each creature that comes to visit...the birds, the insects, a rabbit here and there...it connects me to my soul, to everything, in a way that I can't describe. It brings me home. It quiets my mind. It's...healing, for me. Getting dirty up to my knuckles, feeling worms wriggle between my fingers, witnessing the color and beauty of each new flower, shrub, stone...it reminds me of who I am and where I came from. It fills me with gratitude. The cool earth balances me, much like the water does. Also, I've always been a self-proclaimed "black thumb." But, I've been rediscovering myself lately.
I thought I hated seafood. For my entire life. And now, oysters are one of my favorite things to eat. Who woulda thunk it? So, I figured...let me try the gardening thing. And guess what...I love that, too.
In my reading about different cultures, religions, traditions; I came across shadow energy. What this means is... there may be things that we fear or have a strong dislike for. So we avoid them and dismiss them entirely, without understanding them. Extrapolate that...to anything. Experiences, situations, people, animals, insects, anything that we see as a dislike or aversion. This is the shadow energy, and it presents us with great opportunities...it challenges us, confronts us, repels us or ignites us in some mysterious way. So, I've found that if I have a predisposition toward something, instead of a natural curiosity, as it should be, it becomes a challenge to investigate whether I really feel that way...or whether it was something that I made up about myself, or about the situation...who knows when, based on who knows what? And so it was, with seafood and gardens, among other things.
"No man ever steps in the same river twice; for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." - Heraclitus (or woman...just saying.)
Seafood...was a fear of the unknown, mostly, but also it was a texture issue that I had as a child. I've grown past that, and realized...it doesn't all taste the same. Some I still don't like. Some I really do like. Gardening... was a patience thing. When I was younger, it seemed like a waste of time to spend hours moving dirt around, or I'd forget to water the plants, and so on. Now, I find indescribable peace in it. So, I would recommend to anyone to try things again, if you can't explain your dislike. Our tastes can change, or we could just be full of it, stuck in a story.
The other great thing about my new love for the garden and putting my hands into the earth...is the reminder, that she is our Mother. And working with her, knowing her rhythm, her responses, her preferences...is life-changing. How? Well, in honoring and showing reverence for Mother Earth, we are reminded about the feminine side of divine energy. And what came to me...out there in the soil...is how important that is. A mother nurtures, provides, loves, sustains, teaches, and heals us. And in return, she should be respected, cared for, tended to, valued, and appreciated. Do you see where I'm going with this? What does that say for how we treat our planet? Are we respecting our Mother, who has always sustained, fed, and nurtured us? And in the microcosm, are we respecting our women? Are we valuing, protecting, and caring for our women? And women...are we valuing and loving ourselves, setting healthy standards, are we celebrating our gifts, or hiding them? Are we respecting the feminine energy within all of us -- to nourish, nurture, emote, lift up, heal, inspire, and love each other?
"Let us dedicate this new era to mothers around the world, and also to the mother of all mothers -- Mother Earth. It is up to us to keep building bridges to bring the world closer together, and not destroy them to divide us further apart." - Suzy Kassem
This is why it always starts within. If we know who we are and value and cherish ourselves, as we are, and we are open, caring, generous, and nurturing with ourselves; we can then send that love out. To heal. Heal each other, lift each other up, empower each other, walk with each other...and maybe our dear old Mother Earth will get a spa day and some needed love.
The hard truth is...she will be fine. Our planet will do what it needs to do to heal, with or without us. But we need her: We must bring back the balance. Let's create a beautiful, nourished Earth. Where food is grown -- naturally, beautifully. Where each species, including humans, can co-exist in harmony. Where the power of God and Love is revered and honored, but religion doesn't divide and destroy us. Where the circle of life, the balance of all things, is respected, honored, and practiced. Not perfection, not utopia...but a healthy, sustainable balance. That's the best that any of us can ask for, and work toward. For ourselves, for our home. For tomorrow.
Hello friends. It's been a doozy of a week or two. Let's just say that some recent revelations, crumbling of illusions...still... have led me to explore some old things. The past.
Everywhere we turn we read something that tells us that the past is in the past. "Let it go...let it go..." But I really do think that in order to have a clear picture of where we're going, that we must look at and know where we've been. And not to forget...but to remember.
I finally went through an old box that's been lurking around. Songs. Lyrics, chords, notes, poems...from the nineties. A lifetime ago, and yet...reading through these things, these snippets, these snapshots in time reminding me who I was, what I was feeling, what I wanted...was like reuniting with an old friend. I laughed, I cried a little, I sighed, I smiled. Music. I lived and breathed words and music. I came across notebooks that should've been filled with notes that pertained to the courses I was taking...but instead? Songs. Words, words, feelings, more words.
This in particular stuck out:
"June 10, 2000:
Too often our surroundings can suffocate us. We can become overwhelmed and feel backed into a corner. Our senses get muddled and at times it seems we're screaming with urgent intensity and yet no one is listening. Sometimes all we need is to wake up, in every way a person can awaken, and look at the world with a different perspective. Every day can be a new beginning. I know that now.
Looking back, browsing through the experiences I've had living in the microcosm I call 'my world,' it took a while to get here. Just like any other, my life was filled with ups and downs, high hopes and disappointments, triumphs and failures. What I've realized, is that every experience, every person we meet and every situation we encounter, help us to grow.
Bad things happen, but we can learn from them. The good things we can keep with us in our memories, in our hearts; they can remain there to keep us warm. In order to appreciate the positive, we must endure the negative."
I'm not sure what prompted these words...the perspective...although I'm sure if I ask around I'll find out something. Reading them took my breath away. I thought such a perspective, those words, were new and shiny for me. But they weren't. I always say that we are writing...our whole lives. And literally, right here, in my own handwriting...I see the impetus for the writing that became the novel I wrote and the quotes and inspirational words that I share. The vision, the seed, was planted so many years ago. Hidden, growing, in silence. With me...completely unaware of them. And maybe it's more than that.
Big picture...I feel as though I've just rekindled a relationship with my soul. With the child inside. And it's...awe inspiring. Inexplicable. It's...connection, in the best possible way.
What happens to us?
So many of us, as children, and into adolescence...have such vivid dreams. I was knee deep in these old songs I wrote, and they were just dripping with passion. Longing. Ideas of love. Mystery and magic. Heartbreak, emptiness, loneliness, feeling lost. And at the same time, envisioning a bright future, healing the world, breaking down stereotypes. So idealistic, so full of hope. All I wanted to do was write music, sing, and inspire people. Connect with people, connect people to each other. Let them know that if only for 3 and a half minutes...that I felt it too...that they weren't alone.
So, once again, looking back...I see that somewhere, some time...I decided that my dreams weren't enough. They wouldn't cut it. I got "real." A passion became a hobby which became a once in a while thing...which eventually faded into obscurity. Somewhere along the line, I let the external control my wishes. I stopped believing, in all of it. Until the desire to write finally rose back up. And I am still beyond grateful for that day...March 28, 2015. Renaissance began. The ME inside, woke up.
A lot of this awakening that we read about...this waking up, evolving, remembering "who we are..." doesn't always have to mean something profound and epic. Sometimes, I think that a spiritual awakening is an obstacle course, bursting with opportunities for insight and life lessons...learning compassion and imperfection... showing us a whole new perspective and vision of our lives and what they could be... to lead us right back to where we started...ourselves. Indeed, it starts within. Just think of all the systems that exist...within us. Each of us. From neutrinos to bacteria to organs to our bodies and minds and souls...there are indeed universes within each of us. And yes, we are in relationship with ourselves. From our cells to our speech. And then, to make it more fun and exciting, we are also in constant relationship with everything and everyone else. Perhaps that's why we see "Self-love" everywhere. There's so much to balance and work on within each one of us, and each thought and word and action...has impact.
Wow...so what does that mean? I don't know. I think it means that we owe it to the greater good of our species and planet, at least, to understand and know ourselves enough to be responsible participants in the journey of life.
We're all the same, at the core of things...and yet there is only one ME. There is only one YOU. Remembering who I am has more to do with the little girl who lost her way, years ago, then with ascending to mysterious dimensions of spirituality and bending space-time. And that's another topic, entirely.
It's fascinating to see how I've come full circle. Let's find ourselves, the ones who've been hidden, waiting, with so much to say, having been silenced for so long, before the influence and hardships of life got inside...and changed us. Let's find our Selves...from this life. Right here, right now. And let's get our hands dirty with learning and experiencing, with "ups and downs, high hopes and disappointments, triumphs and failures." Let's live...while we're here. Right? Isn't that the point? And to somehow find the balance in all of it, and find joy knowing that we are awake, alive, and participating in the writing of our own stories.
Whatever this Life is...it's happening. And to make the most of it, is to know...who we are. What we want. What fills us with passion. And maybe some things ought to stay in the past. Some things need another look, and they're let go. And maybe some things need to be reintegrated and given the attention that they deserve. And something else that fascinates me...one glance at these old words, from...1997, most seem to be...and the melody instantly came back. I sang them in my head as I read. How powerful is that? Not a thought in nearly 20 years, and then...wow. Instant recognition and recall. So, what does all this mean? I'm not quite sure...but I will say that I've started writing music again.
Hello, heart. I see you. Let's talk. I'm listening. <3